This is another one of those posts where if you have a relatively delusional perception of me as an innocent young man incapable of bad thoughts and dirty deeds, you’d do best to avoid reading this one. Especially with all the family members who have recently picked up reading this…I’m just warning you, there will be lots of F-bombs dropped throughout. In a positive manner of course, but F bombs none the less. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I hate you. I hate your stinkin guts. I hate every single thing about you. You’re a monster and your reputation preceeds you. I am fully aware that you will be throwing your worst at me this Sunday, but this time I have come prepared. Do your worst.
I am well aware of your hardened asphalt streets that will spread out endlessly before me, their unforgiving power pounding at my legs, breaking me down with every footfall….but I am ready. I have steeled my legs upon the same streets of Indianapolis putting in mile after mile after endless mile of punishing runs, building the muscular reserves of my lower half to a capacity they have never known. You can try to beat me into submission, but I will be fighting you right back the whole way.
And I know of your wind blown nature, your “windy city” moniker. I expect to feel the power of your breath pushing against my whole person as I push forward, but this is nothing new. I’ve trained in sideways rain, wind gusts strong enough to nearly stop me in my tracks, but didn’t. I kept going and I’ll push right through you when the time comes all the same, all the way until that turnaround where you will ungraciously relent and inevitably work in my favor, because I’ll beat you. Plain and simple.
And I know of your spirit, your hardened nature epitomized by the looming skyscrapers that block out the horizon and seemingly swallow everyone in your menacing shadows. This, is mere superstition, the creative expression of one’s perceived inadequacy. I, however, hold no delusions of grandeur and see you for what you are – a harmless facade of toil and sweat and nothing else. I’ll run right through you and emerged unscathed.
Do your worst, I’m not afraid.
I love you. I love your inhabitants and the spirit to not just overcome the elements, but thrive within them despite your unfortunate environmental locale. I love your citizens and can’t wait to meet them, if only for brief passing moments.
To you citizens of Chicago, I need your help and so I appeal to your better nature. That part of you that sees the common lineage between the two of us, in struggle and thriving all the same. I ask for your encouragement.
Chicago, I have had the unfortunate experience of running past, literally, hundreds of spectators who couldn’t set aside their arrogant pride long enough to muster even a half-hearted clap. Instead, they dumbly followed me past like owls paralyzed from the waist down. Talk about awkward. However, I hear you are more the rambunctious type. This I like and expect a more appropriate response that tells me that even if you don’t understand our struggle, you at least appreciate it and want to be a part of it in anyway you can. In short…..scream your head off.
I implore you, come to the streets, line the barricades, and don’t hold back. Don’t feel self-conscious. Don’t feel inhibited. Again, scream your head off. Rattle those cowbells until they break. Lose your voice (but wait until me and my friends have passed first).
And I’d like to make a personal plea, to all the Chicago vegans. Please come out and look for me. I’ll be the long-haired guy in the blue singlet with the inappropriately smiling marshmallow plastered to my chest. Please, come to the streets and lets represent for the vegans…loudly. I’m going to need your encouragement (probably somewhere between miles 16 – 26), I promise you that.
I understand that some of you may not be that versed in cheering for competitive runners, this is understandable, so allow me to offer a few suggestions to get things rolling.
First things first, when we are knocking out 5:30 miles over and over and over again we are certainly suffering, but suffering intently and passionately, therefore, what we need is the type of expressions that will match our determination. The last thing we need to hear are the following phrases,
Even with the exclamation points they really only serve to mock our efforts, if not insult them. Don’t say those. Please.
What we really need to hear, well, what I really need to hear are expressions that motivate, that inspire, that make me want to run faster, which sometimes isn’t so much what you say, but how you say it. In short, get angry.
Personally, I’d prefer to hear things like this,
“You own this fucking race! Don’t even think of letting up!”
“Let’s go Spitz! Keep pushing! Keep fuckin pushing!”
“You’re a fucking machine! You can’t be stopped!
and a little more personal,
“Show them what a fuckin vegan is made of!”
or the old standby,
I know, I know, it sounds relatively cheesy when simply typed out, but I’m telling you, it works. Most people DON’T get this part of spectating right, but I’m telling you, when a spectator lays into you and screams words of encouragement, something just clicks inside and you become incredibly powerful.
So I deeply implore you, citizens of Chicago, fellow vegans, come out to the streets this Sunday and scream your head off….specifically at me. Don’t let me down, let’s represent.
Bring it the fuck on.
8 miles – 3 warmup / 3 miles (5:20 – 5:04 – 5:02) / 2 cool down……..leg felt better today and was no problem running….a little tight now, but nothing of concern. I suspect I’ll be golden come Chicago.
Breakfast – Oatmeal (w/ peanut butter, flax seed, raisins, agave nectar, walnuts), coffee
Lunch – Leftover rice and beans and tofu w/ veggies, water
Dinner – Roasted garlic and olive oil cous cous
Snacks – water, coffee, almond milk, cookies, clif bar, vegan jerky, clif shot, grape nuts
Tragedy – Tragedy